Ten Best NBA Players of All Time
The game of basketball is constantly evolving. If a person were to watch videos of the game from the 1970s or 1980s, they would find the game drastically different from what we witness today.
Even though most experts agree that the sport has evolved for the better in recent years, it does not mean that only modern players can be considered all-time greats.
When you look at online sportsbook odds for basketball games, the teams with the biggest stars usually have the best odds of winning. Basketball is all about star power, with elite players able to will their team to success almost on their own.
Whether it is the modern era or the great players of yesteryear, some athletes have stood taller than others on the basketball court, both literally and figuratively.
Below are the ten best NBA players of all time.
1. Michael Jordan
The winner of six NBA championships with the Chicago Bulls, Jordan was also the finals MVP in each of those series. He is the only all-time great player who never lost a finals series, a feat that even the likes of LeBron James could not manage to replicate. Jordan was as extraordinary on defense as he was on offense, while he could score and assist with equal skill.
2. LeBron James
Regarded as an all-time great athlete across all sports, LeBron James will be remembered fondly by fans of basketball and the NBA. James not only won multiple rings with the Miami Heat, but he also brought championships back to the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Los Angeles Lakers after prolonged droughts for both franchises. While he may not surpass Jordan in terms of his legacy, LeBron will be remembered as one of the greatest ever to step foot on the court.
3. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
One of the highest scorers in NBA history and the inventor of the skyhook shot that almost no defender in his era could stop, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is synonymous with the game of basketball. He was outstanding during every regular season in his career, and Abdul-Jabbar always showed up for his team in the playoffs. He has the remarkable feat of winning the MVP title 14 years apart, showcasing his longevity.
4. Kobe Bryant
The late Kobe Bryant is a hero to millions of Los Angeles Lakers fans around the world. An outstanding talent who combined raw skill with a determination that we may never see in another basketball player, Kobe never knew when to quit during a game. Even if he had poor stretches of shooting, fans could count on him to get hot when the game was on the line.
5. Magic Johnson
As a legendary point guard for the Los Angeles Lakers, Magic Johnson will likely go down as the best ever in that position. Not only was he an outstanding scorer, but he changed the game because of his passing. Johnson could see passing lanes that other players did not even realize existed. One of his most incredible feats is starting as a center in the NBA finals in his rookie season and scoring a remarkable 42 points!
6. Shaquille O’Neal
A powerful, bruising center who had an extremely one-dimensional but effective game, Shaquille O’Neal was a key reason for the resurgence of the Los Angeles Lakers dynasty in the late 1990s and early 2000s. O’Neal may not have been the best shooter, but he was so dominant on offense and defense near the rim that it did not matter. All teams had to do was get O’Neal the ball; they knew he would score a basket.
7. Wilt Chamberlain
People often debate whether athletes such as Wilt Chamberlain would be as good in the modern era, and the question is worth asking. However, no one can take away the big man’s achievements during his time. Chamberlain averaged over 50 points per game for an entire season in 1961-1962, while he also has the remarkable achievement of scoring 100 points in a single NBA game.
8. Tim Duncan
A legendary player for the San Antonio Spurs, Tim Duncan may not have been the flashiest on the basketball court, but he was extremely effective. Able to play the center and power forward positions to equal effect, Duncan won several NBA championships during a glittering career under coach Gregg Popovich.
9. Steph Curry
If there is one person whose quality is responsible for the current Golden State Warriors dynasty, it is Steph Curry. Even though he has played with some great teammates, Curry is the common denominator in all the Warriors’ recent championship-winning sides. When he is on his game and shooting freely, there are very few defenses who can stop him.
10. Kevin Durant
A scorer like no other on the basketball court, Kevin Durant is still in the process of writing his legacy. Whether he finishes his career with more championships or not, he is still going to be remembered as an all-time great. Durant can shoot from anywhere on the court, while he is athletic enough to dunk on opponents if they leave him running room.